A 35 ooo-year-old ivory figurine discovered in a small cave in Germany this past September has proven to be the oldest known piece of figurative art in the world, beating the previous record-holders by 5 000 years. Disappointingly, but not unsurprisingly, the archaeologists who made the discovery revealed their modern prejudices by describing the figurine as ancient porn. Violet at Reclusive Leftist elaborates:
…the Science Now article, the archaeologist who found the figurine is talking about pornographic pin-ups: “I showed it to a male colleague, and his response was, ‘Nothing’s changed in 40,000 years.’” That sentence needs to be bronzed and hung up on a plaque somewhere, because you couldn’t ask for a better demonstration of the classic fallacy of reading the present into the past. The archaeologist assumes the artist who created the figurine was male; why? He assumes the motive was lust; why? Because that’s all he knows. To his mind, the image of a naked woman with big breasts and exposed vulva can only mean one thing: porn! Porn made by men, for men! And so he assumes, without questioning his assumptions, that the image must have meant the same thing 35,000 years ago. No other mental categories for “naked woman” are available to him. His mind is a closed box.
Sad, but true.
I was searching Women’s Studies International for “Naming Our Work” by Christina Gringeri, but I couldn’t remember the title. This is what I eventually found:
Aaargh! Of course, EBSCO has no simple feedback mechanism to correct errors like this.
I just discovered that my post about ovulars has been featured on the “ultra” anti-feminist blog aggregator Masculinisme. I can only assume that my post was picked up by some kind of automated web-crawler that noticed the words “Christina Hoff Sommers,” because linking here deliberately would be embarassing.
Long live feminism! Men are all assholes!
Ann Bartow at Feminist Law Professors posted about groping on public transit on Wednesday. She quotes at length a post by Heart at Womenspace, which wonders about the possibility of women groping men:
I wonder what might happen if, when groped, women groped back? I think if women groped back, men might hit them and hurt them. I also fear that if women groped back, men might rape them and would then call what they did “consensual sex.” After all, she returned the grope, that must have meant she was up for it! I think the only way the power dynamic around groping might change would be if women started randomly groping men whenever they got the chance– not groping back, but instigating the groping, so that men and boys never knew when or under what circumstances they might be groped and could not predict who would grope them. After all, men grope women they already want, for whatever reason, to touch; touching them back just gives them more of what they wanted in the first place. But women assuming “agency” and groping men they wanted to grope without concern for what the men wanted– that’s something different. That is, in fact, what men do to women when they grope us.
An angry commenter, Psyck, wrote in reply:
Only a man would think or entertain the thought that women should start randomly groping men. Should we start raping men and boys so they’ll stop raping women and girls? Women and feminists don’t want a “tit-for-tat” game, we want men to stop deliberately and consciously hurting women.
I happen to agree with Psyck that feminists aren’t out for retaliation, but I disagree with the claim that Heart was asserting as much. I think Heart was making the point that I was clumsily trying to make in this post, that there is no analogue in the realm of men’s experience for the vulnerability that women feel when they’re being groped (generally speaking), especially since tit-for-tat retaliation would ultimately make women more vulnerable in other ways. Thus, it would indeed be fascinating to see how men react on Women Grope Men day, but it would not be practical to institute such a day because of the pervasive social and economic vulnerability that women experience in other parts of their lives.